Cyril C. NwokejiThursday, February 8, 2018


he score line of: Nigeria 0, Morocco 4, was a score line nobody would have predicted, not even the die- hard Moroccan supporters. Yours sincerely spoke to a number of them before the match, much as they expected a home victory, none of them vouched for a resounding /humiliating victory over Nigeria. Needless saying the Super Eagles put up a very weak performance in the final match of the CHAN tournament. They were swept away in every department of the game by the very impressive and hungry Moroccans!

Meethinks they lost for the following reasons:

Firstly, they lost some key players to injury;

Secondly, they lost some key players as a consequence of avoidable red card offences; this makes the point about the way and manner some Super Eagles' players, even those in the world cup team, tackle their opponents. Nowadays, in a bid to protect players, FIFA, has introduced all kinds of measures to ensure errant players are easily detected and severely punished. Apart from the usually eagle-eyed refrees, there is video evidence that helps refrees in this regard. The Super Eagles' players should be more careful in this regard, as a yellow or red card are certainly to a team's disadvantage! In the final match, the Super Eagles played virtually the whole of the second half, with ten players! Their numerical disadvantage, made it difficult to attack the Moroccans effectively ;and gave the Morroccans more oxygen to attack the Super Eagles; as consequence the goals flew in! The particular infringement that resulted in this particular exclusion, was avoidable, to say the least ;

Thirdly, Nigeria' coach Salisu Yusuf, with all due respects, realising the strength of the Moroccan team, and the fact he had to play the second half with ten men, made the tactical mistake of not playing on the counter! If he had re-adjusted his tactic this way, he would have made the Super Eagles lose more respectably, with a low score defeat;

Fourthly, the Moroccans on an individual basis, had more talent than the Super Eagles! This is as a consequence of their better developed soccer league! As consequence, their league retains a greater proportion of their best players, in comparison to the Nigerian soccer league, that is simply a breeding ground for all kinds of foreign clubsides!

In other words, the CHAN Super Eagles, couldn't have won the 2018 CHAN tournament, under normal circumstances. But all the same put up a very inspiring performance, that should earn them the praises and admiration of their numerous supporters! They fought like trojans during the tournament; their courage and determination, made them get to the final.

Their courage and determination, made them get the equaliser against Angola, at the last minute, and then went on to win the match in extra time! Their courage and determination, made them withstand the very stubborn Sudanese team, that missed as many as eight open chances, in their semi-final match up!

The CHAN Super Eagles were certainly not the best team of the 2018 edition of the CHAN tournament, and may be not the second or even third best of the tournament! But made it to the final because of: courage, rugged determination, iron will power, gutso, an unyielding/unflinching fighting spirit and above all an uncanny spirit of solidarity which they exhibited on and off the field of play! They were one strong united family, both on and off the field of play!!!!

In this regard, more especially, kudos should be given to the technical crew, for forging such a formidable team!

In conclusion, meethinks the Super Eagles' performance at the past CHAN tournament, is a sign of better things to come to the World cup bound Super Eagles of Nigeria! For now, the CHAN Super Eagles should be celebrated and adequately rewarded materially! They are our heroes of the moment!!!!

"Anyi bu nkwa!"